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HomeTop NewsCBN to shut down AbokiFX as MPC retains interest rate at 11.5%

CBN to shut down AbokiFX as MPC retains interest rate at 11.5%

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said that it will go after an online foreign exchange rate provider, Aboki FX, and shut down the platform, which the bank described as an illegal and criminal platform.

According to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the regulatory bank will also prosecute the owner of the platform, Oniwinde Adedotun, who has been under investigation from the CBN over allegations of illegal forex transactions.

Emefiele, who spoke after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, instruction has gone out to the regulatory bank’s IT department to stop the platform from broadcasting forex rate.

“I have given instructions to our experts to go after his website and let it be clear that we will go after him, because we can’t allow this to continue,” Emefiele said.

He said the CBN doesn’t recognize any forex market window besides the Investors and Exporters window.

“The only exchange rate remains the I&E window, which is the market we expect everybody who wishes to procure or sell forex to get it,” Emefiele said.

“I am sorry to say that I do not, and I do not intend to recognise any fx in the market.

“Go to your bank. Even if your limit is above what the bank is selling, put it forward, and we will look into it.

“If you want to sell the dollar, go to your bank and sell it.”

Emefiele said the apex bank had been investigating the abokiFX website and its owners in the last two years.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s naira tumbles vs dollar at N570/$ as CBN investigates AbokiFX founder

“We have been studying the activities of abokiFX in the last two years,” he added.

“There was a time we asked our colleagues to call the abokiFX to ask how he conducts the rates.

“He is a Nigeria, living in England, we will track him, Mr Oniwinde, we will track you.

“We cannot allow you to continue to kill our economy.”

The CBN governor added that abokiFX is registered in the United Kingdom, Nov. 2015, and it is owned by one person, who claimed that there are other people with significant interests behind the business.

“On UK filing, we will go and conclude the investigation,” the CBN governor said.

“He has over 25 bank accounts in Nigeria — both naira and dollar — collection FX through a particular ATM in London.”

Emefiele alleged that Oniwinde uses his website for forex manipulations and speculations by purchasing forex to make a profit.

“It is completely illegal and unacceptable.”

The online platform quoted naira rate at N560 /N570 to the dollar as selling and buying rate as at 03:59 hour on Friday.

Many Nigerians in diaspora rely on the platform for the exchange rate quote which they base their remittances on.

Meanwhile, the CBN retained its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 percent and the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.

The apex bank also left the Cash Reserve Ratio at 27.5 percent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent.

The MPR is the benchmark interest rate which all transantions are benchmarketd against in the money market.

Emefiele, at the end of the 2-day meeting of th MPC said the decision to hold the rates constant was to support the current growth recovery.

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